[Updated] Help Bring R-Evolution to Washington, D.C. for Catharsis: A Vigil for Healing

Update 10/27: Catharsis has lost the permit to install R-Evolution due to a sudden reversal by the National Park Service. Catharsis is still happening, but the sculpture installation is now blocked. Read the Catharsis press release for more info, and we’ll share further updates soon.

Original post below:


This November 10–12 is the third incarnation of Catharsis on the Mall, an event run by D.C. Burners and Burner-adjacent humans that brings the healing power of Immediacy right through the heart of Washington, D.C. In their biggest collaboration yet, Catharsis is working to bring 2015 playa star R-Evolution by Marco Cochrane to preside over the gathering. In times like these, this will be a powerful stance for Catharsis to take.

Since their first event in 2015, Catharsis has always been a confluence of different movements, speakers, activists and artists, each bringing their own elements and values. They all mesh together into the kind of pluralistic display of Civic Responsibility you’d hope would always be shown in Washington. Both events so far have featured a Temple Burn right there on the Mall — isn’t that nuts? — and the 2016 event expanded the offerings with more immersive gathering spaces and Mutant Vehicle processions that would make any Burner proud.

Photo by Kris Northern

This year, the plan is to scale up the gathering — and therefore the positive trace it will leave on Washington — with a Black Rock City-scale art installation, and it’s one we all admired for its awe-inducing, dignified, powerful presence.

If you’ve been on the internet in the past few days (ha), you’ve seen tons — dozens? hundreds? — of people you know posting things tagged #MeToo or #ItWasMe, laying bare the fact that sexual harassment, abuse and violence is pervasive in our culture. The intense spread of this meme shows that resistance to this reality is reaching critical mass.

That’s the intention artist Marco Cochrane and collaborator Deja Solis had for the massive, 45-foot-tall R-Evolution. It moved us on the playa in 2015, and now Catharsis wants to see it stand on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Catharsis on the Mall happens November 10–12, and the goal is to complete the construction of R-Evolution by then. In order to make this happen, Catharsis needs your help.

The crowdfunding campaign is over halfway to the goal, and you can help them get over the top.

If you need to think about it a little more, watch this video:


Top rendering by Vladimir “Hesed” Hererra

About the author: Jon Mitchell

Jon Mitchell

is the publisher of the Burning Man Journal, the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter, and the Burning Man website. His playa name is Argus. He co-wrote a big story about spending 24 hours at the Temple of Juno in 2012. He’s been a Burner since 2008. Email: argus@burningman.org

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